For something non-tipsy, there is the Singapore Jubilee ($10++, top pic) , a robust red-tea based drink of both sweet and tangy, thanks to the chemistry between Vietnamese honey and homemade lemonade. The chunks of blueberries put an untraditional twist to this drink, which has a soothing vanilla aroma that instantly uplifted my spirits.
To mediate the tones of Sailor Jerry spiced rum as well as the sourness from lemon juice, apricot jam has been added into this Yam Seng($23++), another red-tea based concoction. I guessed that the Orchid Red Tea might be the most versatile type of orchid tea compared to the white and gold variation, otherwise it would not have been the foundation across all three limited edition beverages.
Yam Seng was quite similar to the previous mocktail but more restrained in sweetness with pleasant sweet scents. However, I still pick the Singapore Jubilee as the taste was more forthcoming.
Be transported back to the tumultuous year of independence with this mellow and slightly bitter 1965 ($25++). With the use of Hendricks Gins to enhance the delicate notes of red orchid tea, this drink tasted more intense than the Yam Seng. Yet I grew to enjoy its subtleties as I took further sips, soaking up the wonderful sights, sounds and wonders in the alfresco dining area amidst lush greenery.
As the appearance suggests, Ginger and Golden Tea Granite ($12++) is inspired by our traditional ice Kachang dessert but elevated to another level of sophistication using semi frozen balls made of Gold Orchid Tea and Ginger, dolloped with some yuzu gel, lychee fruit and jelly. This icy treat was definitely a good remedy for the balmy weather but the zesty accents of the gold orchid tea seemed to be lost somewhere.
However, I truly adore the White Orchid & Lapis ($14++) which placed the classic Kueh Lapis into the spotlight. Being neither too rich nor sweet, the thinly-sliced cake went amazingly well with the luxuriously fragrant and smooth White Orchid Tea ice cream. I just wish there were more multi-grain crumbles for a more lasting bite and perhaps the team might even consider creating a series of Orchid Tea ice creams since the flavors resonated well on the palates.
Specially blended for Singapore Botanic Gardens by 1872 Clipper Tea Co, the Orchid Tea collection that is used for the SG 50 Orchid Tea Menu are also available for sale at the gourmet retail shop just opposite the restaurant. Each collectible tin that weighs 80g costs $28. For more information regarding the Gardens Shop, you may also like to visit here
As temperatures and our celebration mood soar this July and August, these drinks and desserts are definitely timely creations that will keep our bodies cool but spirits running high.
Halia @ Singapore Botanic Gardens
1 Cluny Road Singapore 259569
Ginger Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens
(enter via Tyersall Avenue)
Sun/ PH: 10am-9.30pm
Tel: +65 8444 1148